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Giovanni Battista Forzaté

(24th June 1207 – 24th June 1283)

He was born in Padua in 1207 to the noble Transelgardi Forzatè family.
He was a canonist in the city’s Santa Maria Assunta cathedral (known simply as the “cathedral”) for a few years and, in 1255, he was the first bishop in Padua to be appointed by the pope, a position that he held until 1283.
On behalf of the university, he received papal approval from Pope Urban IV for the charters of the jurists and artists and, in 1264, he received confirmation of the episcopal custom to grant doctoral diplomas as well as the appointment of the bishop as the university’s perpetual registrar.
He introduced regulations for the city hospitals and, in 1265, he built a Domus Dei for orphans and the sick.
He went against the Mendicant orders and accused them of perpetuating false doctrines; this led Alexander IV to severely admonish him and to define him a “Christi ovium dissipator” (1259). In 1282, he objected to some Camaldolese entering the monastery of San Benedetto Novello and, as a result, he was excommunicated by the pope, a decree that was repealed at a later date. He died in Padua in 1283.